Words by Pat Eggleton - Pictures by Creazioni Estro
Visit Giusy Asta’s shop in Modica Bassa and you will find yourself in a treasure trove of “bomboniere”[wedding favors] fashion accessories and other beautiful items created by Giusy herself. Pat interviewed Giusy for Italy Magazine.
Giusy, were you born in Modica?
No, I’m from Vigevano [Pavia] but I came to work in Modica after I studied fine arts in Palermo.
Were you creative as a child?
Yes, I used to invent board games and I loved making necklaces out of things I found in the countryside.
Where do you find inspiration these days?
In materials that I can recycle. One of the aspects of my university course was how to create something beautiful from few sources and that has stayed with me. I still like to find my own materials from natural sources or in markets. This enables me to keep my prices at a level that people can afford. My aim is to create “rich” objects from “poor” materials.
I also make clothes by recycling. If you bring me a bag or a pair of shoes that you don’t use any more, I’ll make something new from them.
I’ll turn out my wardrobe when I get home, Giusy! Do you have a favourite artist?
Klimt has influenced me a lot. I like the decorative effects of his mirror painting, in which he uses traditional techniques to create something new.
Who comes to your shop?
Primarily it’s for brides. I like to think of myself as a sort of wedding planner and personal shopper but the difference is that I create the objects for the bride myself.
How do you decide what to create for each bride?
Her dress is my starting point. Once I see the dress, I can work on fashion accessories, accessories for the table and “bomboniere”.
Planning a wedding is such an important moment in your life but it can also be a very sensitive time. It gives me so much pleasure to be able to help the bride and develop a relationship of trust and friendship with her.
Can you tell our British and American readers about “bomboniere”?
Yes, they are little gifts that couples give to their wedding guests as a thank you for attending the ceremony. In most parts of Italy they were traditionally sugar-coated almonds but in Sicily they were little biscuits prettily wrapped in coloured handkerchieves. In Modica they were called “I fazzoletti di Don Battulu”. Now this custom has evolved and couples give small ornaments or other objects to their guests.
What are your ambitions now, Giusy?
To develop the personal shopper side of my business and to maintain my close relationships with my clients. This little shop has given me so much. I even met my fiancé in it!
I’ll certainly be back when I find Mr Right, Giusy! Thank you for talking to Italy Magazine.
You can see some of Giusy’s work on her website.
Estro is at Corso Umberto 1° 8/e, 97015, Modica [RG].